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Hi, all
I've been entering and titling in AKC Obedience trials for some years now. Today I saw a video posted of a GSD (not this forum) who took first place in a Novice Obedience class, and although I didn't see the score sheet, I was a bit confused about what I saw on the video.
First, upon being told to "return to your dog" after the stand for examination exercise, the handler did not circle around behind the dog, but simply returned directly to the dog's right side, turned around, and faced forward. Shouldn't this have been a major handler error fault?
Second, the entire time the team performed the heel free exercise, the handler carried his left arm at an angle such that his hand was always on the left side of the dog's head (ie, the dog's head was between the handlers hand and his hip). The hand was clearly being used to guide the dog throughout the exercise. Again, shouldn't this have been a major handler error?
The dog's performance was excellent, but the handler...Are these kinds of errors accepted now? :confused:
 

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I"m not really picturing what you mean with the heel free exercise, that just sounds 'weird'...

As for the return on from the stand for exam,,not sure on this either, do you know what the dogs score was?? That would be interesting to see what if any points were taken off..
 

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Hi, all
I've been entering and titling in AKC Obedience trials for some years now. Today I saw a video posted of a GSD (not this forum) who took first place in a Novice Obedience class, and although I didn't see the score sheet, I was a bit confused about what I saw on the video.
Hey if you don't mind, send me the link to the video? I'm curious. OK really I'm nosy :)

First, upon being told to "return to your dog" after the stand for examination exercise, the handler did not circle around behind the dog, but simply returned directly to the dog's right side, turned around, and faced forward. Shouldn't this have been a major handler error fault?
YES! Definitely a substantial deduction. (3-5 points) The rule book specifically states: "On the order “Back to your dog,” the handler will walk around behind the dog and return to the heel position."

Second, the entire time the team performed the heel free exercise, the handler carried his left arm at an angle such that his hand was always on the left side of the dog's head (ie, the dog's head was between the handlers hand and his hip). The hand was clearly being used to guide the dog throughout the exercise. Again, shouldn't this have been a major handler error?
I THINK I have a clear picture of what you're saying....the left hand was down, and held outside of the dog? Was the hand moving? Some people want to heel with the hand down, and I've seen a few schutzhund people heel this way, with the hand moving on the outside of the dog.

No matter, the rules for hand position for OFFLEAD heeling are very specific:

"In all exercises where the dog is required to heel free, one of these options should be followed: (1) when the handler is in motion, the arms and hands must move naturally at the sides and must hang naturally at the sides when stopped; or (2) the right hand and arm must move naturally at the side, while the left hand must be held against the front of the body, centered in the area of the waist, with the left forearm carried against the body."

under scoring:
"There will be a substantial deduction if the hands and arms are not carried in one of the positions stated above."

So that means, 3-5 points.

The dog's performance was excellent, but the handler...Are these kinds of errors accepted now? :confused:
Nope, definitely NOT accepted by most judges! So what was their score??
 

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Could have been first place with a score of 170 pts...sounds odd. I would be interested in seeing the video also. And there are some rule changes too, but I dont think what you described would be any of them.
 

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Were there a number of qualifiers?

Could be poor judging, but could have just been poor performances in the class as a whole. If they are the only qualifier, they get the blue.
 

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your right, a first place could have been 170 , everyone else could have flunked:)
 

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I agree with Diane a first place can be 170. was this Novice A or Novice B? The classes are lower in Novice A and the Judge isnt as hard on the scores.. With that said still what you pointed out would not be allowed as far as I've seen.

I too would love to see this Video
 

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I found novice A to be very similar to novice B. The novice A people are often better prepared because they are less sure of themselves, and often wait until their dogs are really ready before entering. Novice B, you are competing against people who have been there done that before, so the competition should be a little tougher. I do not know that the judging is any tougher.
 

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I would also like to see the video. I'll be trying for the first 2 legs in Novice B in about 10 days, with Chita and she heels close in and head wrapped a little.

I believe that there should be a major handler deduction on the return to the dog after the stand for exam. Rules clearly state to return by going around dog. It is the same for returning after the long sit and long down.

As for the free heeling. The rules state hanging to your side naturally, or left hand to Belly Button/Waist area and right arm hanging naturally. I know that with one of my dogs, I do have to swing my left hand out slightly or else I would be smacking my dogs head with my hand each step, due to her positioning. I'm guessing that they might allow a little leeway in Novice if that was the case, but deductions would be in accordance with rules if in fact the handler is guiding the dog with their left hand. And, then it should be a major deduction, in my opinion.

I got 190's scores with Elsa, and 180's with Viggo. Elsa did great in heeling, just slow or slightly crooked sits, but lightning fast recalls. Viggo was just along for the heeling, decided to not sit once, and recalls are normal paced.

I can't wait to get to CDX level with Chita, her drop on recall is phenominal. Rocket recall, and upon command is down and sliding to a stop over about 6 ft. Wonder if I can mention to the judge that her recall is very fast, so she can give the drop signal a little quicker? Otherwise she'll be at my feet when she gets stopped. Maybe I'll ask one of the judges afterwards and see what they say.
 
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